Wireless grows in popularity

Enterprises will accelerate wireless spending during the next two to three years, according to Meta Group, as IT decision makers see an increased value in mobility solutions.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  May 19, 2004

Enterprises will accelerate wireless spending during the next two to three years, according to Meta Group, as IT decision makers see an increased value in mobility solutions. In fact, the analyst house predicts that 50% of enterprises will have wireless e-mail in place within two or three years, which will spark a run on wireless application projects. However, Meta cautions that most projects will concentrate on some form of targeted field-force automation such as route delivery, service, field sales and asset management, rather than horizontal applications used by the general workforce. “Despite the challenges of less-than-universal wide-area wireless coverage, we have seen a renewed interest in deploying wireless applications during the past six months, as companies are beginning to spend again,” says Jack Gold, wireless industry analyst at Meta Group. Local interest in mobility appears to reflect this global trend. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, notebooks and other mobile devices are selling like veritable hot cakes and IDC reports that the Kingdom’s laptop market expanded by 57.2% during Q303. “The Saudi market is very keen on the latest technology and it is willing to pay for it, especially when it comes to mobile technology,” comments Sunil Nair, regional sales manager for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Acer Computer. Other vendors are also seeing huge growth within the Saudi mobility market, with Toshiba’s Saudi partner, Arabian Business Machines, highlighting the preference of the Kingdom’s younger generation for notebooks over PCs. “We see sales of mobile increasing year on year. This is being driven by a desire for mobility from users who want to be able to work and communicate wherever they are… Young Saudis are up with technology and are buying it and using it. The sales of notebooks are shooting up to around 35% and this is in all sectors,” says Dr Omar Al-Jarrah, regional manager for the central region of Saudi Arabia, Arabian Business Machines. To ease the influx of predicted wireless application projects, Meta Groups says enterprises are considering platform vendors such as IBM, SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft to expedite the processes. However, Gold advises enterprises to implement these projects with an overall view of strategic architecture and enterprise security to maximize return on investment (ROI).

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